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Snacks Retail Expertise

What’s Popping: Inside SkinnyPop’s New Ad Campaign That Has Us All Reaching for More

The brand’s new “Freedom to Snack” campaign reinforces its endlessly delicious products, offering a snacking experience that only SkinnyPop popcorn can deliver.
Ryan Riess
Vice President, Brand Strategy and Creative Development

Key Takeaways:

    • SkinnyPop Original flavor popcorn offers consumers a rare find in the snacking aisle: a product that tastes delicious and is effortlessly simple with just three ingredients.
    • In its newest ad campaign “Freedom to Snack,” the brand captures consumers having epiphanies as they realize that when snacking on SkinnyPop popcorn they don’t have to give up taste or quality – they can have it all.
    • Airing on TV, digital, social and streaming platforms now, this campaign invites all consumers to add SkinnyPop popcorn to their snacking mix. It is just one of many strategic investments Hershey is making into the brand that delivers cup after cup of endlessly delicious popcorn.

May 2, 2024

Who knew one small piece of popcorn could start a snacking revolution?

Today, snack aisle purchases are up 6.2% versus a year ago.1 This means consumers are ready to snack, and we want to make sure they grab SkinnyPop popcorn repeatedly. So, we’re making sure no purchase in the snacking aisle passes us by.

When we brought SkinnyPop popcorn into our portfolio of brands, we had a vision to permit consumers to take popcorn out of the movie theater and into their homes as a better-for-you option. The problem is that most consumers feel like they have to make a choice when in the snacking aisle: better-for-you or delicious taste—until they meet SkinnyPop popcorn, which delivers on both.

At the core of our Original flavor are three simple ingredients, popcorn kernels, sunflower oil and salt, creating a delicious experience, while making sure consumers not only know what they are eating, but also feel good about it. Some would say that’s creating a snacking revolution.

Introducing Snacking Freedom

The “Freedom to Snack” campaign was born with real snackers in mind – and the epiphany we all have when we find a salty treat that doesn’t actually have to be a treat.

In three ads, all created by PREACHER, we focus on the idea that SkinnyPop popcorn isn’t strictly a better-for-you option, and it’s not just a snack either. It’s about eating one piece of popcorn after another to keep snackers satisfied. We do this by bringing the brand's Original flavor ingredients to the center and highlighting SkinnyPop popcorn for its delicious taste that consumers want.

The result is three hilarious scenes showing how SkinnyPop popcorn manifests as an everyday, everywhere kind of snack. From two crafty roommates “accidentally” painting their entire apartment to a high-powered businesswoman requesting that her assistant physically “hold” her calls, texts and emails, and even a hot air balloon ride gone wrong, each setting drives home the moment the snackers realize that they can continue snacking to their heart’s desire.

All three ads are available now on TV, digital, social and streaming platforms.

The Power of the Campaign

As a category leader, our focus is to continue to attract new buyers and satiate popcorn lovers. Traditionally, we’ve introduced new flavors like SkinnyPop Cheddar Jalapeño and exciting pack-types. However, we also understand the power of advertisements and the idea of meeting people where they are – a commercial can find you at home, on the bus or in the gym. Pulling this lever, we created these ads with the goal of introducing our “Never Stop Snacking” messaging in creative yet meaningful ways.

While the creative is meant to make you laugh, we thought long and hard about how we would use creative elements to help build upon SkinnyPop’s brand strategy and increase household penetration. Key campaign elements that helped us do this include:

  • Casting talent with a background in standup comedy (whom you may recognize from other projects!) that could deliver on the humorous nuances within the material and maximize the witty undertone and required beats.
  • Elevating the campaign aesthetics while staying true to the brand’s premium look and feel.
  • Utilizing the same construct throughout all three spots to ensure that the ads leave consumers with three simple takeaways: SkinnyPop’s delicious taste, minimal ingredients and ability to be eaten in abundance.

Continued Snacking Excellence

Connecting back to our overall vision for the brand, we’re always focused on finding new snacking occasions by examining the size and prices of our packaging options and, with the help of our Insights team, looking for new opportunities to give people the snacks they want anytime, anywhere.

This campaign complements the strong strategy we have in place as we continue to close in on becoming #1 in Popcorn and establish the brand as the category titan. By leaning into the power of the SkinnyPop brand, delivering on our purpose of making more moments of goodness and now encouraging consumers to snack with freedom.

Credit List

Brand Team: SkinnyPop
Vice President, Salty Snacks: Veronica Villasenor
Director, SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty: Clark Boyer
Brand Manager: Emily Jenkins
Vice President Brand Strategy and Creative Development: Ryan Riess
Director Marketing Strategy & Development: Kelsey Webster

Agency: Preacher
Chief Creative Officer: Rob Baird
Chief Executive Officer: Krystle Loyland
Chief Strategy Officer: Seth Gaffney
Executive Creative Director (CW): Greg Hunter
Executive Creative Director (AD): Kellyn Blount
Copywriter: Kayla Lott
Art Director: Caroline Jinks
Copywriter: Brandon Davis
Art Director: Eli Terry
Group Brand Director: Kristen Meade
Junior Brand Manager: Grant Howard
Producer: Victoria Boldt
Head of Production: Stacey Higgins
Designer: Marissa Servantez

Production Company: World War 7
Director: David Shafei
Director of Photography: Justin McWilliams
Executive Producer: Sloane Skala
Head of Production: Kat Garelli

Editorial: Mack Cut (@mackcut_edit)
Editor: Pamela Petruski
Assistant Editor: Brandon Alexander
Executive Producer: Gina Pagano

VFX: Framestore (@framestore)
Finishing Company: Framestore
Executive Producer: Brittney Walker
Executive Creative & Technical Director: Aron Hjartarson
Lead Compositor: Jesus Yapor
Producer: Kaitlyn Gorman
Producer: Simon Jensen

Color Grade: Company3 (@company_3)

Colorist: Sofie Borup

Music: APM Sound Engineer: Howdy Sound (@howdysound)


  1. Mintel, 2023, IRI 52wk ending 4/23/2023/Seurat HSY salty research 2023, IRI MULO+C 52wk ending 3/24/24